x Abu Dhabi, UAETuesday 25 July 2017

Countdown to Keane's Dubai gig

The British band, who play the Madinat Arena tonight, speak of their sadness at the loss of Michael Jackson.

Keane's lead singer Tom Chaplin says Michael Jackson's influence on pop music will survive his death.
Keane's lead singer Tom Chaplin says Michael Jackson's influence on pop music will survive his death.

DUBAI // The British chart-topping band Keane today spoke of their sorrow at learning of the death of Michael Jackson, the day after a lavish memorial service was held for the pop icon in Los Angeles. The award-winning trio, who play their debut gig in the UAE tonight, told of how Jackson had been a powerful musical influence and how they were still mourning his loss. "We are still pretty upset about [the death]," said the band's songwriter Tim Rice-Oxley at a press conference ahead of the sell-out gig at the Madinat Arena. "Growing up in the 1980s, he was a real influence. He was probably one of the reasons we got into pop music in the first place." The lead singer Tom Chaplin added: "He's one of the few people who is going to be influencing music for about as long as pop music exists.

"Some one with that kind of talent and influence; it's such a sad thing that a human life should end like that. "When I was a kid, I wanted to be Michael Jackson. I used to practise the dances in front of the mirror." Rice-Oxley said the band, who are currently on a world tour promoting their third studio album, Perfect Symmetry, said they were told of the musician's death while in Sweden about to perform a concert. Chaplin said they were currently recording tracks during free time between concert dates and hoped to release a "mini-album" later in the year. This is the group's first visit to the Middle East and earlier this week Keane played a gig in Beirut.

They earned their reputation on the back of soft rock piano-led ballads such as 'Everybody's Changing', 'Somewhere Only We Know' and 'Is It Any Wonder'. The band, which also features Richard Hughes on drums, won international acclaim for their first album Hopes and Fears in 2004, and their second, darker album Under the Iron Sea. chamilton@thenational.ae